When P Stands for Politics. The Role of the EU in the VPAs: A Research Agenda
This paper puts forward a research agenda for the study of the Voluntary Partnership Agreements (VPAs). These agreements form the backbone of the European Union's (EU) external forest governance. The data-driven literature review of the current scholarship on the VPAs shows a preoccupation with either the design of the VPAs or their (adverse) impact. What remains in the margins however is an inquiry into the political characteristics that drive both. More specifically, the politics of the EU continue to be a black box. We propose a research agenda that looks at the VPAs from a political angle with a focus on meaning-making in the VPA processes and on the power of the EU in steering dominant views and interpretations.